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Kern County’s 2020 free speech violations trigger new safeguards. Will they work?

| CalMatters

Three years ago, a string of Facebook posts spelled doom for a Kern County plan to curb COVID-19’s path through vulnerable communities.

The virus had already wreaked havoc in the conservative, agricultural county by October 2020, when the Kern County Public Health Department struck what would be a nearly $1.5 million deal with local organizations and an associated small business to get crucial information about COVID-19 to hard-hit ZIP codes and vulnerable groups.

Coachella Valley farmworkers lost hundreds of dollars during storm Hilary. Financial aid options are slim.

| CalMatters

Many farmworkers in Coachella Valley lack legal status as citizens and don’t qualify for most federal and state disaster aid. Even a new $95 million storm assistance program for immigrants that Governor Gavin Newsom recently touted is out of reach because it pertains to the winter and spring storms and floods.